Chestnuts abound during the holiday season. In fact, tour the Christmas markets — particularly around the Mediterranean — and chances are you’ll see more than one vendor roasting chestnuts and doling them out. These nuts are high in nutrients, including loads of fiber, but they also are a bit sweet after they’ve been roasted. (Raw, they have a bitter taste).
But roasted chestnuts aren’t the only way to enjoy this treat around the holiday. This recipe for chestnuts and mushroom cream comes from the chefs who lead our Boqueria market visit class. This dish is great all on its own, or as a starter during a Christmas Eve meal! The ingredients are enough for four servings and features other seasonal ingredients as well.
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Chestnuts and Mushroom Cream
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
- 500 grams (just over 1 lb) fresh chestnuts
- 300 grams (2/3 lb) fresh, seasonal mushrooms
- 50 grams (1 3/4 oz) dried mushrooms (shitake, porcini, etc, will work)
- 1 leek
- 1 potato
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup sweet Moscatel wine (a sweet moscato or marsala may be substituted)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Olive oil
- 4 eggs yolks (optional)
2. While those soak, make a deep cut into each of the chestnuts using a serrated knife. Once done, put all of them on a baking sheet and roast at 200°C (or 400°F) for 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done once they become tender and split open.
3. Remove the chestnuts from the oven, and give them some time to cool down. Once cool, peel all the chestnuts.
4. Next, finely chop the leek, and then sweat the leek in olive oil. (This should take about 10 minutes for them to soften).
5. While the leeks cook, get the potatoes, peel, and then cut into small bite-sized but equal pieces. Add the potatoes to the pot with the leeks, and then add the peeled chestnuts as well.
6. To the pot, also add in the sweet wine. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes so the wine can reduce in the pan.
7. Lastly, add the vegetable stock and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Allow this to cook at a low heat for about 20 minutes. Once it’s all cooked thoroughly, blend the soup and strain.
8. Add the cream to the soup, and then season with salt and pepper to your liking.
9. You may also garnish the soup. The chefs recommend either fresh mushrooms that have been sautéed, or alternatively, a raw egg yolk can add even more richness and a velvety texture to this hearty dish!
Already have your Christmas menu planned out? This dish is also a wonderful way to warm up during the Winter months! Learn more recipes like this one with a visit to our one-day Spain cooking classes.
By Liz Hall
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